Via Times Union:
On the 60th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that led to school desegregation in the U.S., State Education Commissioner John King on Wednesday spoke about the struggles that minorities and low-income students still face in the nation’s educational system.
In his remarks at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, King said racial and socioeconomic disparities among students have an effect on academic achievement. He said only 15 percent of black and Latino high school graduates are ready for college-level work, while half of white students are sufficiently prepared. “Equality is central to our identities as Americans,” King said. “But for all its power as an idea, equality remains elusive for far too many people of color in New York and across the country.”
King cited a study by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California at Los Angeles that named New York as home to “the most segregated public schools in the country” -— racially and economically. He said while schools are no longer overtly segregated by race, district lines often divide children along racial or socioeconomic boundaries.
“We should not be able to point to neighborhoods in New York where one public school serves mostly poor students and achieves painfully discouraging results while another public school just a few blocks away serves mostly affluent students and puts them on the path to success,” he said.
King said Common Core educational standards are an attempt to close the achievement gap between minority and low-income students relative to their peers. He urged parents and educators to not back off from their commitment to Common Core.
“This is about taking responsibility for educating every single child no matter what his or her race, background or economic status,” the commissioner said. “By retreating from accountability and allowing children at risk to slip through the cracks, advocates of lower standards deny us the talents of all Americans.”
HT: Mental Recession